That whole body image issue can be such a huge obstacle for some people, especially young women. Like they say, “if we only knew then what we know now”. That rings so true! I bring this up because it relates to some recent events that have stirred a wee bit of controversy in the style, health and fitness world.
You may have heard the news this week that Avercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, revealed that he had no interest in making clothing for plus-sized women and did not care to market to them. The media outlets went ballistic in response. A petition was even started on Change.org asking Jeffries to “stop telling teens they aren’t beautiful.”
I will be honest and say I do not shop in this store. I do not have girls so haven’t really had the need. I have always felt their print ads were a little “too much” for young girls anyway and have been turned off by some of the photos they use.
This comes along with some department stores choosing to use larger sized mannequins which has also caused some controversy. See Here.
So, here’s the question. When did all of this begin? When did women and then young women begin to feel that their bodies weren’t good enough? When did women begin to feel pressure from the media to be perfect? When did the body images begin to suffer?
How is it that some women can differentiate a model on a magazine cover as not perfect, photo shopped, airbrushed and unrealistic and another sees it as a perfect ideal.
There have been campaigns geared at breaking this chain. Dove has one out now and there have been different ones showing how models are airbrushed and/or celebrities are photoshopped to look better in photographs or in magazines.
Recently, Kate Upton, who is known as the voluptuous model on the cover of Sports Illustrated and not a stick thin model, said she loves her body. She is an example of one who is a bit different but comfortable in her skin. (Although it seems to be almost perfect skin at that!) The pin-up girls of the
1940’s and 1950’s would be considered downright fat in this generation. Even so, I’ve read old interviews and articles about how these women watched their diet and struggled to keep their size and weight at a certain number.
I, of course, do not have the answer to this. I am definitely not smart enough to figure out the right course of action for us as parents, consumers, the media and the fashion business. I do know that when I am in the gym, in a yoga class, or in front of a class teaching, I see a room full of beautiful people, all shapes and sizes. Even those of their perfect weight, fit and strong, are not the same size as their neighbor, and that’s the beauty of it. Some people can wear some styles and rock it, while not so for others, and vice versa. Yet, how great is that? How boring it would be if we all showed up in the same Lululemon outfit each week for class!
At some point I hope we all get to the place of being comfortable in our own skins and stop wanting someone else’s skin. We got ours at birth and need to realize all the amazing things our bodies can do for us, and all the great, healthy things we can do for our bodies. Doing both will get us to our best. I just hope the young women out there would reach this realization before they have children of their own!
That’s my rant for the day!
What do you think about the Abercrombie and Fitch mentality? Is there a healthy way to tackle the body image issue? And didn’t Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren rock their bods?